Smoke Detector Safety from the Boise Fire Fighters Local 149

The change of seasons is an ideal time to review your home fire safety plan including installing and maintaining your home’s smoke detectors. Two-thirds of home fire deaths result in homes without working smoke detectors or no smoke detectors but by installing properly working smoke detectors, the chance of death in a house fire is cut in half.*

Install smoke detectors on every level of your home including both inside and outside of sleeping areas and in your basement. Smoke rises, so install detectors high on a wall or on the ceiling.

There are two types of smoke detectors. Ionization detectors are more effective in flaming fires. Photoelectric detectors are more effective in smoldering fires. Because they detect fires in different ways and the type of fire that may occur cannot be predicted, it is recommended that your either install one of each, or dual-sensor detectors in your home.*

Tips for maintaining safe working smoke detectors:

  • No matter what kind of alarm you use, test it monthly for proper functioning.
  • If an alarm “chirps”, replace the battery right away.
  • Detectors that use 9-volt batteries should have the battery replaced annually.
  • Detectors that use a 10-year lithium or long-life battery should be entirely replaced – the whole unit – according to manufacturers directions.
  • For detectors that are hardwired into your electrical system, replace the back up battery annually and the entire unit every 8-10 years.*

Keep you and your loved ones safe! Make replacing your smoke detector batteries and going over your home fire safety plan an annual habit as winter turns to spring.

These safety tips are brought to you by Boise Fire Fighters Local 149 and FEMA.

Additional Resources:

  • fp-smoke2
  • psa_burns
  • psa_fire
  • psa_treesafe